Mike Moustakas

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Mike Moustakas
Mike Moustakas on May 25, 2012.jpg
Kansas City Royals – No. 8
Third baseman
Born: (1988-09-11) September 11, 1988 (age 25)
Chatsworth, California
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 10, 2011 for the Kansas City Royals
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Batting average .244
Hits 335
Home runs 37
Runs batted in 145
Teams

Michael Christopher "Mike" Moustakas (born September 11, 1988) is an American professional baseball third baseman for the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball.[1] He was drafted second overall in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft.[2] Nicknamed "Moose" by Kansas City Royals fans and the media, he is often greeted with moose calls when announced as a batter.[3] The team encourages the nickname by selling foam moose antlers in the Kauffman Stadium gift shop. In 2012 the team also gave away the antlers as part of a Moustakas promotion night.[3]

Personal life[edit]

The son of Connie and Mike Moustakas, a former college football player for UCLA, Mike was born in Los Angeles on September 11, 1988.[4][5] He is of Greek descent, as his grandmother was born in Greece, and flies a Greek flag above his locker in the Royals' clubhouse.[6] He is the nephew of author, MLB player and former New York Mets hitting coach Tom Robson, who gave Moustakas hitting tips growing up.[7] He grew up in the Los Angeles area.

When not playing baseball Moustakas enjoys golf and fishing. He claims his golf game is much like hunting, however, as he spends most of his time in the woods.[8] Asked by USA Today what career he would enjoy other than baseball, Moustakas expressed an interest in being a firefighter. He owns an English bulldog named Molly.[8]

High school career[edit]

Moustakas attended Chatsworth High School in Chatsworth, California where he was four-year starter in baseball. During that time he helped Chatsworth to a 124-11 record including four West Valley League championships, and two CIF city titles. Moustakas was voted "Player of the Year" by Cal-Hi Sports in both his Sophomore and Junior years.[4] His 52 career home runs in high school are a California prep state record.[9] Moustakas attempted to be a two-sport player for Chatsworth, but a broken ankle suffered in is first game as quarterback for the Chancellors ended his high school football career, and nearly ended his baseball career as well. However after three months of rehabilitation Moustakas was able to resume playing.[10] In 2006 Moustakas was a member of USA Baseball's Junior National Team, competing in the World Junior Championships in Cuba. He topped off his prep career by being named Baseball America 's High School Player of the Year in 2007, an honor previously bestowed on MLB stars like Joe Mauer, Homer Bailey and Josh Hamilton.[11] Moustakas was also selected to the USA Today All-USA high school baseball team in 2007.[5] He was offered a scholarship to USC but instead chose to enter the 2007 baseball draft.[10]

Professional career[edit]

Moustakas during his tenure with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, High-A affiliates of the Kansas City Royals, in 2009.

Moustakas was drafted by the Kansas City Royals with the second overall pick of the 2007 amateur draft. He signed with the team on August 15, 2007, receiving a reported signing bonus of $4 million.[12] Fellow Chatsworth teammate Matt Dominguez was chosen by the Florida Marlins with the 12th overall pick of the amateur draft. The pair became just the sixth set of high school teammates to be selected in the first round of the same draft.[13]

Entering 2009, Moustakas was widely regarded as one of the top baseball prospects in all of minor league baseball. The Sporting News ranked Moustakas as the 13th best prospect overall,[14] while MLB.com listed Moustakas as their 11th best prospect in all of baseball.[15] Moustakas, however, had trouble adjusting to the Carolina League in 2009. While his power remained, his ability to hit for a high average went down significantly. In 2010, Moustakas' power and average increased significantly. As of July 13, 2010, Moustakas was hitting .352 with 21 homers and 76 runs batted in in AA Northwest Arkansas. On July 15, 2010, he was promoted to Triple-A Omaha.[16] On August 30, 2010, Moustakas was named the 2010 Texas League Player of the Year and on the same night, he set an Omaha Royals record with three home runs and 11 RBIs in one game.[17] Moustakas won the Joe Bauman Home Run Award for most home runs in minor league baseball, winning a tiebreaker with Mark Trumbo.[18]

Moustakas had his contract purchased by Kansas City on June 9, 2011.[19] He made his debut the following night against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, going 1-3 with a walk and a run scored. His first major league hit came in his third plate appearance against Ervin Santana, where he would eventually score in the 4-2 win.[20] Moustakas went on to play in 89 games for Kansas City in 2011, finishing the season with five home runs, thirty RBIs, and a season batting average of .263.[3]

On February 18, 2012 the Royals announced they had signed Moustakas to a one-year contract for the 2012 season. No financial terms of the deal were released.[21] During the 2012 season Moustakas set a new club record for K.C., playing 47 straight games without an error. He also made 41 double plays far besting the previous mark of 34 Mark Teahen set in 2006.[3] Moustakas finished the year with 20 home runs and 73 RBIs, also hitting 34 doubles.[3]

In 2013, Moustakas' locker was assigned next to George Kottaras, who is also of Greek descent. "I don't know how many times you've had two Greek guys in the same clubhouse on the same team," Kottaras said. "And they put us next to each other, which makes it even better."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MLB.com Draft Report for Mike Moustakas". Minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  2. ^ "2007 MLB.com Draft Tracker". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Duber, Vinnie (3 January 2013). "Evolving Moustakas a hit on and off the field". MLB.com via KC Royals official team website. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Chatsworth Baseball". Chatsworth High School Athletic Department. 2006. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Porcello leads the way on 2007 All-USA baseball team". USA Today via website. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Kaegel, Dick Moustakas, Kottaras proud of Greek heritage MLB.com, April 11, 2013. Accessed April 28, 2013.
  7. ^ Kaegel, Dick (1 March 2011). "Big-hitting Moustakas is wise beyond years". MLB.com via KC Royals official team website. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Ortz, Jorge (27 March 2011). "Get to know: Mike Moustakas heating up for the hot corner in Kansas City". USA Today website. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Moustakas Bio and Stats". Wilmington.bluerocks.milb.com. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  10. ^ a b Sondheimer, Eric (13 October 2006). "Athletes' Mental Health Still Should Be Top Priority". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Matthews, Alan (2 July 2007). "High School Player of the Year: Mike Moustakas". Baseball America magazine website. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Royals sign No. 2 overall pick 11 minutes before deadline". ESPN. Associated Press. 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  13. ^ Official MLB.com bio MLB.com. Accessed April 28, 2013.
  14. ^ "Prospects: Rankings: Top 100 Prospects: Top 100 Prospects: 1-20". BaseballAmerica.com. 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  15. ^ "Top Prospects | MLB.com: Minors". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  16. ^ By Samuel Zuba / MLB.com. "Moustakas promoted to Triple-A Omaha | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  17. ^ Moustakas Hits 3 HR, Drives In 11 In 23-5 Rout
  18. ^ http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100910&content_id=14498240&vkey=pr_milb&fext=.jsp
  19. ^ Pouliot, Matthew. "Royals call up former No. 2 overall pick Mike Moustakas". NBC Sports. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  20. ^ Kaegel, Dick (2011-06-11). "Royals win in Moustakas' Major League debut". MLB.com. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  21. ^ "Royals sign four more...". KSHB-TV website. 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 

External links[edit]